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FDA Says It Is Likely to Seek Advice About Energy Drink Risks

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said this week it is likely to seek advice about the potential health dangers of energy drinks, in the wake of reports of deaths and injuries possibly related to the products.

In a letter, the FDA said it is considering asking advice from an outside group such as the Institute of Medicine, The New York Times reports. The agency has received reports of 18 deaths and more than 150 injuries that mention the possible involvement of energy drinks, including 5-Hour Energy, Monster Energy and Red Bull.

The reports do not prove a product was responsible for a death or injury, the article notes. The products’ manufacturers have said they are safe, and are not responsible for the reported deaths and injuries.

The letter was written to Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who have called on the FDA to regulate energy drinks and investigate the safety of ingredients with stimulant properties in combination with the caffeine found in the drinks.

“There is very clearly a lack of understanding about the health effects of energy drinks and their ingredients especially on children and adolescents,” Durbin said in a news release. “I am glad to see that the FDA is undertaking a review but more needs to be done and quickly.”

Last year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration issued a report that found a sharp rise in the number of emergency department visits linked with the use of non-alcohol energy drinks, from 1,128 visits in 2005, to 13,114 in 2009. The report noted that energy drinks are marketed to appeal to youth, and are consumed by up to half of children, teenagers and young adults.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Lisa T / November 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    You need only visit Monster’s website to see the product is marketed to young people. There is zero information on their product – no safety info, no warning, no info on the amount of caffeine. We are a nation of quick fixes and multitasking, but we also need to be knowledgeable of what effects jacking up on stimulants will do to our young people.

  2. Avatar of Virgil
    Virgil / November 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

    The energy drinks in question has been out for a while now. I think the education should focus not on the energy drinks itself but what the users should drink and not drink with the energy drinks and how much of it each day you can consume. I know that the deaths reported had pre-existing heart conditions and others were drinking it more that they should per day. I have been drinking 5-hour for a while now and I even use it as a pre-workout sometimes – to give me a good start at the gym but never used it along with other energy drinks.

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